"From Sea to Shining Sea"
A whole lot of America winds through Shoemaker's Travel Center – and we're not just talking about the variety of customers we see every day.
Our beautiful, hand-painted mural in the Convenience Store clerestory represents 3,652 miles of America via scenes from along Historic U.S. Route 6.
Historic Route stretches from the tip of Cape Cod to the waterfront at Long Beach, California. It was the longest highway ever established in the United States and though its status was changed and shortened a few years back, it remains one of the longest continuous highways in the nation.
It has been called a lot of things in its day, including such names as The Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Highway, King's Highway, Roosevelt Highway, The Midland Trail, The OLD Highway (Omaha/Lincoln/Denver), The DLD Highway (Detroit/Lincoln/Denver) and several other regional nicknames. For instance, it's called Corn Husker Highway when it curves around the north side of Lincoln, but the Business Route that passes through Lincoln is known as O Street, which gives us bragging rights to have the longest main street in the country.
Every image on the mural is a rendition of something travelers might see along or very near Highway 6. Every state US Route 6 passes through is labeled with a rendition of a USPO commemorative stamp, the state flower and the state bird so a quick glance around the room will orient you.
The modern Highway 6 in California is a short, two-lane, north-south surface highway that ends/begins in Bishop, but prior to a 1964 highway renumbering project the route extended all the way to Long Beach, near Los Angeles, which is where our tour begins.
That's the royal ship, The Queen Mary floating above the entrance to the travel store. This grand ship has graced the harbor at Long Beach since 1967 after making 1,001 crossings of the Atlantic, many of which were completed during the war transporting military personnel.
The giant former ocean liner, now a hotel open to the public, has been billed by some in the know as "one of the most haunted locations on the West Coast."
Mt. Whitney beckons to travelers at the edge of California. This serenely beautiful mountain features one of the most popular climbs in the world. At 14,486 feet in elevation, Mt. Whitney is the highest peak in the lower 48 states.
The Lions Club Light House for Sight is not primarily a navigation device, though it’s not strictly a "mock lighthouse" either. It was built by the Long Beach Lions Club as a symbol of their fundraising for the visually impaired.